Friday, May 1, 2009

Performing Tasks While Diving in Strong Currents

Although most cleanup dives are held at slack high tide, some locations require more technical diving. Certain inlets, such as Sebastian, are known for strong currents and strong tides. In these situations, reef hooks can be employed. The reason is simple: You need two hands to collect and this cannot be done when you need one hand to hold on to stay in place in a current.

Simply stated, a reef hook is a very large marlin fishing hook or gig hook with the point filed off. A line is attached to the eye and then to a clip on the divers weight belt or vest. The diver positions himself and engages the hook onto the bottom, a piling, or some heavy object to allow him to operate hands free in a specific place. To release the hook, the diver simply uses his fins to release the pressure on the line and then removes the hook. The diver can then move to another location and repeat the operation. These devices do not cause any harm to the environment and are a good safety tool. By using this method, divers can work specific areas or grids.

As shown in the photos below, the hooks work very well in strong currents. This method is used in the coral reefs of Palau, Fiji and Tahiti with great success. Aquatic life is protected from human hands and fins thrashing about and divers are protected and allowed to successfully complete their tasks.

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